10 tips to prevent workplace injuries

09/15/2015 // Posted in
Written by Lauryn Page | Reviewed by Katherine Kreis
Workplace injuries cause direct costs to a business, such as workers compensation insurance, medical expenses, and possible legal services. They also cause indirect costs with training replacement employees, accident investigation, lost productivity, and equipment repair. The following tips help create a safe working environment and assists with injury prevention.

 
  1. Incorporate a safety and wellness plan. The foundation for a safe work environment is an effective accident prevention and wellness program. The program needs to cover all levels of employee safety and health with the encouragement to report hazardous practices or behavior.
  2. Conduct pre-employment screening. Some accidents are caused by inexperience and the inability to physically perform the position. Screening applicants is a safeguard for placement with the appropriate positions matching their physical capabilities. 
  3. Educate employees and management staff. Continually cultivate a safety standard among employees and management staff. Train employees about the importance of following safety measures as often as possible. Supplemental training in body mechanics can reduce strain injuries, and keep employees safe during lifting and moving.
  4. Research safety vulnerabilities. Every business is unique and doesn’t necessarily have the same safety concerns. Pay extra attention to common accidents and develop strategies to keep these setbacks from happening. 
  5. Provide protection equipment. Personal protection equipment is essential and should be enforced at hiring, meetings, and with spontaneous monitoring. Take time to teach employees how to properly use goggles, face protection, gloves, hard hats, safety shoes, and earplugs or ear muffs. 
  6. Have adequate staffing levels. More often than not, overtime hours are implemented because of low staffing levels. Overworked employees may suffer from exhaustion and cut corners to meet or exceed output. Hiring part-time or seasonal staff could help prevent accidents due to exhaustion.
  7. Don’t take shortcuts. Accidents happen when employees skip steps to complete a job ahead of schedule. Make sure all instructions are clear and organized to prevent undue mishaps in the workplace.
  8. Inspect and maintain all company vehicles. According to The Occupational Safety and Health Act findings, workplace-driving accidents cost employers an average of $60 billion dollars a year. Maintenance should include monthly inspections and repairing vehicles as soon as possible.
  9. Monitor safety measures. After initial training, reinforce safety measures at every opportunity, i.e. staff meetings, supervision, and education. Reward employees who abide by set standards or stay injury free for a specified amount of time.
  10. Keep an orderly workplace. Poor housekeeping can cause serious health and safety hazards. The layout of the workplace should have adequate foot path markings, be free of debris, and stations for cleaning up spills. 


Some workers are injured severely enough that they cannot return to work and need ongoing medical care, leading to lost revenue and a reduction in workforce. Providing protective gear and minimal education isn’t enough. Follow these tips, along with an effective accident prevention and wellness program to reduce the number of workplace injuries and the resulting costs. Partnering with Concentra’s trained professionals to provide preventative education, in addition to supportive injury care, can improve total worker wellness and improved worker efficiency and increased productivity.


References
Take the steps to prevent workplace injuries before they happen
http://ehstoday.com/safety/take-steps-prevent-workplace-injuries-they-happen
How to reduce your workplace injuries
http://labor.vermont.gov/workers-compensation/employers/how-to-reduce-your-workplace-injuries/
5 Best Practices to Prevent Workplace accidents
https://www.arbill.com/contentonly.aspx?file=customerpages/5-best-practices-to-prevent-workplace-accidents.htm
Commonly Used Statistics
https://www.osha.gov/oshstats/commonstats.html
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
http://www.bls.gov/news.release/osh2.nr0.htm


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